I have just spent a few days in this amazing city and want to share some ideas with you. Singapore is a multicultural country, 74.1% are Chinesses, 13.4% are Malay and 9.2% are Indian. 90% of all food is imported and the country is growing at 1 to 3% a year. This city attracted 900,000 visitors a year in 1964, this year it will attract 15 million. A sign that something must be going right. In 2012 the government invested $1 billion Singapore dollars in tourism and this is now starting to show as you walk around the city. In a recent speech by Prime Minister Lee pointed out that success is about “High Touch” combined with “High Tech”, something that we have been promoting at JSA. It sarts in the hotel room
Linda and I checked into the hotel room and we had a smart phone in the room which we could use during our stay. We could use it to make free phone calls anywhere in the world, get internet and use the Singapore tourism phone app. all for free. Compare that to a hotel I stopped in the week before that wanted $30 a day for the use of internet when it was actually free outside of their front door. We all need to grasp the High Tech opportunities to help our customers. Walk the Gardens by the Bay A stroll around the Gardens by the Bay really illustrate this concept. The two growth areas in tourism are Food Tourism, which we are told is growing at 30% a year and Garden Tourism. The must see garden tourism destination must be these gardens. The key for me was the “experience” elements that were introduced. When Linda and I visited it was rose flowering time. Rather than just have a show of roses they introduced the theme of the “War of the Roses” and provided entertainment and education around this theme. Okay, the battle was in the UK, but it gave the gardens an educational opportunity.
The key message is give people a reason to go. Without the reason they will not travel to your destination. Social media opportunity not threat On my journey to Singapore I picked up the Mandurah newspaper from Western Australia. I was fascinated by an article entitled “Business face up to criticism”. This article was about a Facebook page in the area set up for consumers to comment on customer service in the town. As you would expect 90% of the comments were positive and 10% were negative. The page had a reach of over 1,000 fans and therefore now has major penetration. The person who set it up was criticised by businesses who had received negative comments who said customers should contact Consumer Protection rather that comment on Facebook. As a result the Facebook page has gone from an “open” page to a “closed” page. Consumers can now compliment and complain and the businesses will never know. Compare that with Bishimono in Singapore who encourage customers to comment on an open Facebook page and also if they include the business in the Facebook comment, the consumer will get 10% off there next meal.
The lesson …complaints are a gift and we should embrace them. Retail stroll Take a stroll around Singapore and always take a camera, these are a few shots of ideas and sights we came across